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Tracking Powers with Transparent Sleeves

Using a transparent sleeve with dry or wet-erase pens can be a very efficient way of tracking hit points, marking conditions, or anything else that would normally require you to erase or record something. When it comes to powers, most of the players in my group use the Character Builder's printed power cards, or some custom power cards that I've designed, but I find it unwieldy to have a handful of cards that I have to hurriedly sort through every turn.  So I use a custom power page in a plastic sleeve.

I still build my character on the Builder, but only print out my actual sheet and not the powers. I open a new document in Adobe Indesign (you could do this in Word or Excel, but probably with more effort.) and write in the pertinent information for each of my powers...action type, range, attack versus defense, etc. I separate at-will powers, encounter powers/item uses, and daily powers/item uses into different sections, and put a little checkbox next to the encounter & daily ones.

When it's time to play, I leave the power sheet in the sleeve and color in each checkbox (on the sleeve, not the paper) with a wet-erase pen.  Then, when I use that power, I simply wipe off the mark.

I prefer this single-page method because it allows me to see my entire range of powers/options without any card or paper flipping.  I play a healing shaman and it's vitally important that I always know how much healing I have left available.  Using the sheet, I can simply glance down and see how many colored marks are left on the sheet, rather than flipping through cards and trying to remember which powers I've already used.  It's also nice because I can write in any conditional triggers - in my case, when a healing power heals additional hit points due to an ally being adjacent to my spirit companion.


On this sheet, the left half is at-will and encounter abilities, while the right side are dailies.  The thick black line splits the page again, with the top half being attack/utility options while the bottom half is all healing stuff.  Again, this organization helps me quickly decide which of my options are viable for a given situation.  A routine fight where no one is injured yet? Left (non-daily) and top (attacks) is where I look.  Later in that same fight, an ally starts to get a little low?  Left (non-daily) and bottom (healing).  Boss fight, a lot of damage being thrown around to the entire party?  Probably dig into the right (daily) and bottom (healing) goodies.

Aside: using paper clips works great for anything in 4E that has charges, such as the charges on a Healer's Sash or even an assassin's harvested souls. Just stick them on a card to have a nice visual reminder of how many you have left, and remove them when you need them.

Obviously, this method isn't for everyone.  It takes a fair bit of work, and every time your stats or equipment changes you need to print out a new page.  I've also use Indesign every day at my job, so while making a sheet like this is very easy for me, it could be difficult for people unfamiliar with design programs.  But for actual in-game convenience, I love it.


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